Fugitives Violent Crime

Jury Finds Cop Killer Deshawn Campbell Guilty of Murdering San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana

Fugitive Watch Logo 77x77px

A jury has found defendant DeShawn Campbell guilty of second-degree murder for killing San Jose police Officer Jeffrey Fontana in 2001. The verdict was read this morning in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Campbell, 29, also was found guilty of felony possession of a gun. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Aug. 7. In December, Santa Clara County Superior Court JudgeDiane Northway ruled that Campbell is mildly mentally retarded, meaning he is not eligible for the death penalty. Fontana, 24, was shot to death while on duty on Oct. 28, 2001. District Attorney Dolores Carr said at a late-morning news conference the verdict has been a long time coming.  “Justice has been served in this case,” Carr said. “I’m grateful to have this day come to an end.”  Carr thanked the Fontana family for their patience and understanding, and also for sticking with the process and the system. Fontana’s mother, Sandy Fontana, also spoke at the news conference, surrounded by other family members. She said she has not slept well in the last four months and has been waiting for this day. Sandy said her son, who had been on the force for only a few months when he was killed, would have made a terrific police officer. Shesaid Fontana enjoyed working with kids and strived to be involved with the community. Sandy said it doesn’t matter to her that Campbell won’t receive the death penalty. She said that in all likelihood, she would not even have been around to see him executed, as the process is so lengthy. When asked if she could forgive Campbell, she seemed unsure. “It’s still so raw in my mind… but I hope I can,” she said. Police Chief Rob Davis praised jurors for their thoroughness. “But let’s remember, this case is about Jeffrey Fontana,” Davis said. “We will never forget him. We know he is with us here today.” During the trial, Campbell testified that his friend Rodney McNary was the one who killed Fontana, using a gun Campbell had with him for protection after a fight broke out at a party. Campbell said he hid from authorities for days because he feared harm from police or retaliation from McNary or his gang associates if he “snitched.” Prosecutor Lane Liroff argued there was no physical evidence to link McNary to the scene and alleged that Campbell hid out because he was guilty, not afraid of retribution.  The prosecution alleged that Campbell saw Fontana approach his car, panicked and shot him to avoid being detained for the two active warrants out for his arrest at the time of Fontana’s death. Campbell’s trial started Feb. 23 and jurors began deliberating on  May 15.

Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons